Growth and physiological responses before and after transplanting to a simulated landscape were studied for `East Palatka' holly (Ilex ×attenuata Ashe `East Palatka') grown in plastic containers (PC), in the ground in fabric containers (FC), or in the ground conventionally. At the end of a 15-month production period, trees grown in PC had more shoot dry weight and leaf area than trees grown in FC, and they had thinner trunks than field-grown trees. Root balls on harvested field-grown trees contained 55% and those grown in FC 65% of total-tree root surface area. Trees transplanted from FC had the lowest predawn leaf xylem potential and required more frequent post-transplant irrigation than trees grown in PC or in the ground. Carbon assimilation rate and stomata1 conductance in the first week after transplanting were highest for trees planted from PC. Dry weight of regenerated roots was similar for all production methods 4 months after transplanting from the nursery, but trees grown in PC had SO% more regenerated root length, and the roots extended further into the back-fill soil.
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